Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tiptoe Through The Tulips Pattern Introduction


What's the last thing to do before a big finish? You have to remember to cross those T's and dot those I's... and let's just say that I've literally been dotting those last I's this week to share with you a preview of my upcoming pattern, "Tiptoe Through The Tulips", to be released in March 2017.


"Tiptoe Through The Tulips" is for the intermediate to advanced quilter with a variety of piecing techniques, including curved piecing, applique, as well as traditional piecing... let's just say there's no chance of getting bored! The individual blocks measure 24", and even though I finished this to fit our king size bed, it can obviously be made into a smaller version for a throw or twin size finish.


There are two color groupings that I used throughout the quilt, firstly a pink and blue colorway...


And then an orange and purple colorway, with the same green arrow/leaves and yellow applique accents to tie it all together. I used raw edge applique for the small circle, and the foil applique method for the center circles.



Like my first quilt pattern, I will be sending this off to Iva again to work her magic. If you've not seen Iva's work, then be sure to check out her Instagram feed... can't you just imagine this quilt once it has been quilted and has a little crinkle to it?



Right now I am looking for intermediate to advanced quilters for pattern testing to work on this quilt block. Are you interested and have time in February?  If so, then send me an e-mail at allison@stillwaterdesigns.de and let me know if you've pattern tested before.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Always Following Me


It would seem that even though blue has never been a color that I naturally gravitate towards, it is the one color that follows me despite my efforts to avoid, or at least be indifferent to it. I suppose such tendencies might stem from my grandmother's LOVE of blue... but not what you might think - it was that extreme fondness of blue that perhaps turned my mom off to the color, thus producing the home that I grew up in with not one stitch of blue in it. I have unknowingly done the same.

... but yet, it still follows me...


It would seem that every apartment and every house (trust me, there have been MANY moves in my life) has had some room where there has been some touch of blue in it. There have been two blue bathrooms, blue carpet, and other accents here and there along the way, but really it's forced me to figure out ways to make it work in spite of it's obvious shade.


When my husband and I recently moved our family back to his home town we "inherited" a couch that belonged to my husbands grandmother, which had been given to her when she married in 1947. Every cousin that has come in our house has recognized it, and usually shares some memory of sitting/playing on it as a child. I would think that from here it would be easy to guess the color, right?


Sometimes when I start a project, I don't always know where it might end up later, but it didn't take long to decide that these two pillows would be perfect for the vintage blue sofa in the guest room that has just been waiting to be adorned.


Of course I've considered having it reupholstered, and just might one day. The verdict is still out if she needs a complete makeover, or if she feels more comfortable... just being blue.

Pillow Pattern I: Jeweled Kaleidoscope, Campbell Soup Diary
Fabrics: Alison Glass Sun Prints 2017, Sun Prints 2016, Essex Linen Steel
Thread: Auriful 2600

Pillow Pattern II: Flower applique shapes from Alison Glass book, Applique. Animal shapes, adapted from Alison Glass fabric using this tutorial.
Fabrics: Alison Glass Sun Prints 2017, Alison Glass Sun Prints 2016, Stitched from Seventy-Six collection (background fabric) Lotta Jansdotter (backing)
Thread: Auriful 2600

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Creating Applique Shapes from Fabric - Tutorial


Sometimes when I work on a project, it feels natural to me that some of the same design elements within the fabric should also be incorporated into the project itself. I love applique, and I especially love to mix mediums. I actually started this project two years ago when I was inspired by Alison Glass' Applique book, and only recently pulled it back out to finish it. 


I thought that adding the the bird and the bee outlines from Alison's Seventy Six fabric collection was the perfect way to complete this. Since I had a good response on Instagram concerning a tutorial, I thought I would pass on to you how I did it:

1. Start with the fabric you would like to use and make a copy of it.  For the actual project I enlarged it by 115%, but here it is enlarged to 140% for better visibility. (Alison Glass Flourish, color Pomegranate for Andover fabrics)


2. With a black Sharpie, I simply outlined the shape. You can see how I started on the right side, and extended the lines that were open so as to have a closed shape. I also added an inner freehand outline on the wing, and in the body, where the fabric can peek through later.


3. Now for the best part... did someone say Freezer Paper? Trace the outline from the copy, and cut out the finished shape.


4. The beauty of Freezer Paper is that it irons onto the fabric medium that you are working with, and stays in place without slipping and sliding when cutting. Iron on and cut out entire shape as well as the inner cut out areas.


5. Select the peek-a-boo fabric that you would like behind the felt and cut it large enough so that it is hidden behind the shape. Stitch the felt shape as close to the edge as possible, starting with the outer edges, and then the inner cut out edges.


It's always fun to play around with fussy cut snippits peeking out from behind the felt, don't you think?
 

Sun Print 2017 fabrics from Alison Glass, to be released this January.

Linking up this week with Let's Bee Social.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Hello 2017!


To know how to move forward for this year, I thought that it would be helpful for me to look back through my previous posts to see where I stood with what I had set out to accomplish for the year, and then for each quarter. For starters, I ended up finishing ALL of my quarterly goals! My yearly goals, however, shifted and transitioned a lot, which is not to say that I didn't leave 2016 without a good number of finishes. I was able to finish six quilts, one of which was my own pattern! I had several finishes that never made it on my Finish-A-Long list, mostly because I thought that I would be working on other projects instead.


General Goals:


1. For the first time, I am trying to work with a yearly planner for my sewing projects. I know some of you organization experts out there might have just let out a gasp at that one, but I suppose I've not felt the need for it since sewing has been my hobby and not my work...

2. Right now my main goal for the year is that I would like to transition from a hobby quilter to a professional quilt pattern designer. I suppose that I'm on the way, but releasing my next two patterns this year would make it feel like I'm there.

3. One of my quarterly goals from 2016 that I'm carrying over, and that I am quite happy with, is that I've made a good amount of headway with learning EQ7. Now don't get me wrong... I have definitely not arrived, but I'm pleased with how far I've come, especially considering the number of throw-your-computer-out-the-window moments I've had.

4. Working outside our comfort zone is just that... uncomfortable, which is why I want to push myself to take on more free motion quilting projects.


Project/ yearly goals (aka what's on my plate):


1. I'm so excited to be at the finish line for my second quilt! I'm planning on sending out the top to be quilted this month, and will share very soon. Oh, I will be looking for intermediate to advanced quilters to test it... did I mention curves, applique, and traditional piecing?

2. My second pattern is, at least style wise, quite different than my first pattern. I have finished the top of a small project from that pattern, and this is where I get to stretch myself with some free motion quilting practice.


3/4. If you're going to have an Alison Glass project in the works... then why not two? I shared on Instagram another Jeweled Kaleidoscope in the works with Alison's upcoming Sun Print 2017 collection (everyone say it together now... yum!)... and then sometimes when you're on the right path, inspiration taps you on the shoulder and says "hey, should we go the other way?" (aka 2nd project)


5. My Anna Maria Horner quilt is not exactly a "new" quilt, but my first quilt WIP that was re-birthed because of an IG link up party. I was fully ready to let this one sit and collect dust, but pulling is back out is more satisfying than expected.

6. The backing for my Bee Quilt is almost done, and then I just have to baste and quilt it. This was an extra project that I may not have started had it not been for the bee, but it will be a fun one to work on and finish.

7. My Half Square Triangle quilt started as an effort to use up some of those pretty left over snippits from various projects. This just grew, and grew, and now I realize that this too will have to have a backburner status. This is the latest layout that I've been playing around... hmmm, still up in the air.




8. My thrid quilt pattern is low priority, at least on the first half of the year. The whole project is cut and ready to go, and perfect for those take it with you projects that I need for our HH Patchwork Meetings. I have my projects sorted and ready to grab and go.



9. Now that our new bed is here, I pulled the Green Smoothie quilt back out to work on only to find out that my husband and I are not in agreement about the design layout. I really value his opinion, and since he is sleeping under it too, then I'll at least let him his say. Status: backburner


10. I have been drooling over Stitched In Color's Penny Sampler quilt for a REALLY long time now... I'm a sucker for samplers. This is my distraction along the way quilt when I am feeling the need to mix things up and take a breather. Since it is a 12 month QAL, it feels totally doable.

Gulp, when I see all those ten projects in black and white, then I realize that I've pretty much got my whole year planned out... and that doens't include distractions!?! Even as much as I like to juggle multiple projects, this might even push my limit. I suppose there's not time like the present, right?


... did you happen to notice what's so special about today?
 
 Linking up to Let's Bee Social and 2017 Finish-A-Long.
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